Strange and suspicious behavior regarding the election and recounts from Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell

For a Republican and state Bush campaign co-chair Secretary of State responsible for the election in his state who claims that the Presidential election was conducted fairly, Ohio Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell is behaving very strangely and suspiciously. Claims of massive fraud and corruption regarding the tally in Ohio are rampant among the progressive blogosphere and are growing daily. The best thing for Secretary Blackwell and other Republicans to do to crush such speculation would be to allow and get behind the efforts to recount the vote, efforts that are clearly provided for in Ohio state law. Instead, it appears that Republicans in the state and nationally are engaging in what can only be interpreted as efforts to fight and delay it and intimidate those who want it. On December 8th, Former Congressman Dan Hamburg was arrested while attempting to deliver a letter to Blackwell from the US House Judiciary Committee with questions about the election. Two days later, Secretary Blackwell issued a surprise executive order stopping the recording of voting information from several minority precincts in Greene County. Two volunteers, Joan Quinn and Eve Roberson, two certified election volunteers, were hand-copying voter discrepancies from precinct voting books on behalf of Green candidate Mr. Cobb and Libertarian candidate Badnarick, who were the original requestors of the Ohio recount. Blackwell's order goes further and specifies that the voting records are to be locked down and declares that they are 'not public'.

Messages left for comment at the Ohio Secretary of State's office were not returned. Instead of providing more confidence in the veracity of Ohio's election, Blackwell's actions are throwing gasoline on the fires of the conspiracy theories out there and are perilously close to being in direct violation of Ohio state law. The secretary has one legitimate course of action open to him. Obey the spirit of Ohio state law, and permit a transparent, efficient, complete and rapid recount process. The voters of Ohio and the nation deserve no less.


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Top Stories - December 17th, 2004


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